Spices as an Alternative Therapy for Cancer Treatment

Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy,2016,7,1,46-56.
Published:June 2016
Type:Review Article

Spices as an Alternative Therapy for Cancer Treatment

Neeta Bhagat1, Archana Chaturvedi1

1Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University Uttar Pradesh, Noida, INDIA.


Cancer is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Current therapy available for cancer treatment is associated with number of side effects. However, plants offer an alternative route for the treatment of cancer. In fact Traditional Knowledge of using herbs and spices for medicinal purposes provide promising new leads that could be utilized for developing new therapies for cancer treatment. The therapeutic properties of spices is due to bioactive components such as alkaloids, terpenes, flavonoids, phenylpropanoids and anthocyanins present in them. Many of these spice derived secondary metabolites have the ability to trigger free radical scavenging pathway at cellular level and thus protect from various metabolic syndromes. Some of the spice based active constituents which are widely known for their chemopreventive action against various malignancies are curcumin and curcuminoids (turmeric), limonene (cardamom), allicin, allyl isothiocyanate (garlic), cinnamic aldehyde, 2-hydroxycinnamaldehyde and eugenol (cinnamon), gingerol, zingiberone, zingiberene (ginger), dipropyle disulfides and quercetin (onion), piperidine piperine, (black pepper), crocetin, crocin and safranal (saffron). These therapeutic agents arrest the activity of cytochrome P450 and isozymes CYP 1A1, cyclooxygenase-2, reducing the activator of transcription-3 (STAT-3) and signal transducer. In addition to this they also down regulate expression of cell cycle protein which in activate caspases killer and suppress Kappa-B activation. Spices also act serve as immunomodulators and regulate inflammatory disorders. The present review highlights the role of common spices in combating cancer